Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lineup Lessons Gameweek 23

Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Song, Van Persie, Walcott
Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Ju-Young, Henry, Arshavin, Benayoun, Coquelin.

With Arshavin playing so poorly and Henry struggling for fitness, this could well be the starting eleven for some time. I don't see too much value here outside of Van Persie, though we should at least mention Oxlade-Chamberlain who was extremely impressive against Man Utd last week. Though not necessarily great for the team's success, he is not scared to take a shot (four of them tonight) and his direct running will surely lead to some fantasy production if he gets sufficient minutes. He's too risky to be your 4th midfielder but if you can afford to plug him in the five hole, he offers an intriguing upside along with differential potential. I like this defense better with Sagna back but without any cheap options they remain overpriced.

Aston Villa
Given, Hutton, Cuellar, Dunne, Warnock, Ireland, Petrov, Clark, N'Zogbia, Keane, Bent.
Subs: Guzan, Heskey, Bannan, Weimann, Lichaj, Baker, Gardner.

Nothing too exciting here as Agbonlahor only missed out through injury. There are a couple of intriguing options in this lineup, though despite his goal tonight N'Zogbia is not one of them for me. When Agbonlahor, Heskey, Keane and Bent are available McLeish tends to go with three up top thus pushing N'Zogbia into a deeper role and limiting his fantasy appeal. Bent is more interesting and it's now four goals in five games since returning from injury. If you're flush with cash he's a nice differential option though the likes of Adebayor and Dzeko provide better value for money on paper. I'd also raise some red flags about the upcoming fixtures with three of the next four on the road where Bent has struggled for goals in this, and prior years. Keane and Ireland deserve some attention given their price tags but there's little more to say other than that they're players with past success who have done alright of late, but don't necessarily have great underlying performance stats to backup their production. Interested? Yes. Convinced? No.

Robinson, Lowe, Dann, Givet, Olsson, Dunn, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Petrovic, Modeste, Hoilett
Subs: Bunn, Formica, Slew, Rochina, Vukcevic, Hanley, Henley.

Modeste got his first start here and impressed on paper with four shots as well as a good amount of involvement throughout. He comes with a decent scoring record in France, though that in itself isn't enough to pique our interest. Yakubu will of course return after his suspension so Modeste's minutes are by no means guaranteed but any starting 5.0m forward deserves a look. That, or I'm desperate to write something other than 'nothing to see here' for this uninspiring Blackburn side.

Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, Wheater, Ricketts, Eagles, Muamba, Reo-Coker, M Davies, Petrov, Ngog
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Riley, Klasnic, K Davies, Pratley, Tuncay.

The defense is now averaging just 9 games between clean sheets so they should be able to get another one in before year end! If that doesn't do it for you, then there's erm, er, nothing to see here. Eagles has looked fairly good of late but he was very quiet tonight, thus reminding us all of his inconsistency. He has potential but you can probably find someone else in the same price range with a much lower ownership percentage.

Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Meireles, Romeu, Malouda, Sturridge, Torres, Mata.
Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Lukaku, Ferreira, Cahill, Bertrand, Piazon.

Essien will presumably slot in here for Romeu in the next week or so, though at his price he doesn't look particularly appealing. My earlier point on jumping in on players too soon is being played out well here, with Cahill once again on the bench despite Terry missing out. I'm sure he'll get his minutes at some point and if you can afford to wait for another couple of weeks, Chelsea get Bolton, West Brom and Stoke in GW26-28. I wouldn't have made the move but if you already have it's probably worth waiting at this point. I want to say Torres is due for an explosion but he was just out shot 1-0 by Lukaku (who played 10 minutes) and the light at the end of the tunnel seems faint.

Howard, Neville, Hibbert, Heitinga, Baines, Donovan, Gibson, Fellaini, Drenthe, Cahill, Stracqualursi
Subs: Mucha, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios, Forshaw, Duffy, Baxter.

Jelavic didn't feature here but will surely play in the near future which means Drenthe's place continues to be in jeopardy thus limiting how much value he could potentially have. Donovan added his second assist of the season so he's pretty much delivering as expected - solid but nothing too spectacular. The defense has three clean sheets in eight games and Hibbert's return to the side makes him ownable and worth looking at.

Stockdale, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, JA Riise, Duff, Murphy, Sidwell, Davies, Dempsey, Ruiz
Subs: Etheridge, Baird, Kasami, Gecov, Hughes, Frei, Trotta.

Fulham were a decent defensive play this week, though not as good as some seemed to think (they only came out 9th in the rankings) so a lack of a clean sheet here wasn't a huge surprise. I still like this unit though with Stockdale and Kelly offering solid cheap bench/rotation players. I'm shocked Zamora was let go and actually really liked him as a third forward for the coming weeks (more on him below). His departure does open up the way for Ruiz to take a more advanced role and Andy Johnson when fit. Tonight though, Dempsey played just off Ruiz and so his already high value could be pushed higher still.

Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Spearing, Adam, Bellamy, Kuyt, Carroll
Subs: Doni, Aurelio, Coates, Downing, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.

This side pretty much picks itself these days with Downing the only surprise omission. What happens when Suarez returns is less clear as Bellamy has been excellent while Carroll is starting to show some form and gives the team something different. That would appear to leave Kuyt on the outside looking in but Downing would also be somewhat threatened if the team takes more of a 4-3-3 look rather than the standard 4-4-2.

Man City
Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko.
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Johnson, Kolarov, Savic, De Jong, Razak.

With Balotelli suspended and De Jong apparently out of favour, this teams has a strong predictability with only the apparently unpopular Johnson threatening to upset the team's consistency. With a disappointing result and the team stagnating a touch you might expect a shake up but it isn't exactly clear where that will come from. This side obviously still provides a tonne of fantasy value but their unpredictability is making them easier to rotate.

Man Utd
Amos, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Park, Berbatov, Hernandez.
Subs: Kuszczak, Giggs, Welbeck, Fabio, Rafael, Pogba, Will Keane.

Rooney missed out through injury but he could return at the weekend. With that in doubt and United facing a tough trip anyway, Rooney owners with spare transfers may want to consider another option on a short term loan. Welbeck missing out was somewhat surprising but we've mentioned in the past that he is always going to be an inconsistent player to own so you have to take the lows with the highs. I'm not sure Amos is worth a gamble between the sticks as De Gea should return this week. If Amos does keep the gloves this week though he deserves consideration going forward.

Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Guthrie, R Taylor, Gutierrez, Best, Ameobi
Subs: Elliot, Lovenkrands, Abeid, Perch, Gosling, Obertan, Ferguson.

This team really picks itself with a number of good players still unavailable. The current lineup looks a touch uninspiring (though the defense remains solid) but the return of Cabaye and Ba and the introduction of Cisse will hopefully change the sides' attacking fantasy options.

Ruddy, Martin, Ayala, Whitbread, Naughton, Johnson, Crofts, Surman, Hoolahan, Holt, Morison
Subs: Steer, Jackson, Pilkington, Fox, Bennett, Wilbraham, Ward.

The predictability of this lineup is improving but it's still hard to see too much consistent production here outside of Morison. Surman managed a couple more shots on goal and statistically provides the best goalscoring value but he isn't always heavily involved in the Canaries play and so he probably isn't a reliable every week option.

Kenny, Young, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Taiwo, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Derry, Mackie, Hulse, Cisse.
Subs: Cerny, Hill, Hall, Smith, Ephraim, Macheda, Balanta.

On a personal note I am delighted to see Cisse back in the Premier League and with a debut goal and a reasonable price tag (6.5m) he will quickly find his way onto many managers' shortlists. Along with Zamora, Helguson and Macheda, Cisse forms a promising front line for QPR but from a fantasy perspective we have to somewhat concerned about who's going to play every week. As the highest profile arrival, Cisse would appear to be safe but Hughes knows Zamora from his time in Fulham and he could be a useful focal point of this attacking unit. The situation deserves monitoring as someone could well emerge as a very useful forward. QPR's frailties are still evident and I don't like buying a defender for attacking ability alone, but Taiwo is clearly going to have some use going forward and is worth a look at 4.5m. The next four games look promising but QPR haven't kept a clean sheet since GW9 so don't get overly excited here.

Sorensen, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, Pennant, Palacios, Whitehead, Walters, Jones, Crouch
Subs: Begovic, Whelan, Fuller, Delap, Etherington, Jerome, Woodgate.

This team remains fairly predictable but two items are noteworthy here. Firstly, Etherington was dropped which was a surprise as I liked him to have a better second half than the more fancied Walters. You'd be surprised if it was a future trend though so I wouldn't dump Etherington just yet. The other issue is Walters not being deployed up front, as Pulis instead went with Jones and Crouch. I'm pretty down on Walters as it is (mainly as he is grossly over owned) and this only makes that assertion stronger.

Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, O'Shea, Richardson, Larsson, Gardner, Colback, McClean, Sessegnon, Campbell
Subs: Westwood, Bridge, Wickham, Ji, Meyler, Elmohamady, Lynch.

With Brown unable to stay fit, Bardsley is the pick here and while you've missed the boat on the great games, they still have a couple of decent games coming up. McClean continues his excellent production making him an interesting 4.5m option while Sessegnon remains a stud.

Vorm, Rangel, Caulker, Williams, Taylor, Britton, Allen, Sigurdsson, Dyer, Graham, Sinclair
Subs: Tremmel, Routledge, Monk, Lita, Moore, Agustien, Richards.

Not much to say here other than the arrival of Sigurdsson who added his 2nd assist in his 3rd game. His underlying stats remain underwhelming but with set piece duties galore and some decent talent around him, he's worth a shot at 5.0m. It's tough to pick between him and Dyer in this side so Sig's 0.2% ownership is worth noting.

Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto, Kranjcar, Modric, Parker, Bale, Adebayor, Van der Vaart
Subs: Cudicini, Dawson, Rose, Livermore, Sandro, Pienaar, Lancaster.

Not too much to say here either. Bale is great and is really challenging my thoughts that Van der Vaart might be a differential option over the Welsh winger for the remainder of the year. It's not just that his production is high, it's that he's simply taking so many shots and creating so many chances at the moment. That said, I wouldn't say he is a must own player and he remains inconsistent compared with Silva, which is a concern going into the current run of games (@Liv, New, @Ars, MnU). I'm not saying you should sell but I'm also not sure I'd rearrange my whole team to fit him in with those games coming up.

West Brom
Foster, Tamas, McAuley, Olsson, Shorey, Cox, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Fortune, Odemwingie
Subs: Fulop, Tchoyi, Reid, Allan, Dawson, Mantom, Thorne.

A good result for the Baggies at Fulham but there remains a lack of fantasy talent in this side. Odemwingie and Morrison have shown flashes of promise at times this year but both are woefully inconsistent and a touch overpriced for their production to date.

Al Habsi, Boyce, McCarthy, Caldwell, Figueroa, Moses, Watson, Stam, Beausejour, Gomez, Di Santo.
Subs: Pollitt, Gohouri, Crusat, McArthur, Sammon, Jones, Rodallega.

I understand he wants to leave, and it's tough to judge manager decisions from the outside, but benching Rodallega who's added two goals and two assists in the past four stars looks strange to say the least. The overall results were the same though as Wigan lost another game. Old favourite Moses notched an assist and he should remain in the conversation for your 5th midfielder spot.

Hennessey, Foley, Berra, Johnson, Ward, Kightly, Frimpong, Jonsson, Jarvis, Edwards, Fletcher
Subs: De Vries, Elokobi, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Hunt, Milijas, Doyle.

I expected more from Wolves, having not been shut out since GW12 before the visit of Liverpool. I have faith in Fletcher but I'm not sure I see much in his teammates to inspire much confidence. 


SKehoe said...

I enjoy reading your posts, especially the what we learned from this gamesweek ones.
I'm a bit surprised you don't think Gareth Bale is a must own player, but we can agree to disagree there.
I was hoping to get Valencia in, but I'm going to stay firm with Sessegnon, Bale, Dempsey, Silva. I have McClean as my 5th and he's done well, but I wonder if I should bring in Sigurgsson since he's on sets. However, having brought in Helguson and having Rooney underperform weekly at such a high price, I think my forward position is more important. Would you recommend bringing Ba back in, going with either Cisse (QPR or Newcastle one), or maybe just switching Rooney for Aguero although hes been hit or miss like Rooney.
Any advice greatly appreciated.

Ramzy said...

As SKehoe pointed out, am also a bit uneasy at your pessimism of Gareth Bale. He has vastly improved this season and he also plays more centrally. There are also various elements of his game he has improved on. I also agree with your assessment that he cannot be relied on as Silva but he is far capable of explosive returns especially against weaker opposition. I got him back when Van der Vaart was dominating at around 7.9 and taking into consideration the value I will lose if I transfer him out and the form he is in, he is staying in my team long term unless serious injury.
Otherwise great blog as usual. Keep up the good work!

nsj91 said...

you made no mention of lindegaard in your post.. what are your thoughts on that battle with de gea?

if both are fit this week, im not sure who SAF will go with.. lindegaard looks more assured when in goals, but they spent big on de gea.

hopefully its anders

Genevapics said...

While I believe the Fab 5 is a must have, I can only afford the Fantastic Four (Silva, Sessegnon, Dempsey and Bale) with Sigurdsson coming off the pine. I went with Sigy over McClean because I already had Sess. McClean has certainly demonstrated that he can play. Both he and Sigy will be on my radar next year.

I agree with Chris that if you have to seriously rearrange your lineup to get Bale in, with his upcoming fixtures, now might not be the time to do so. If you already have Bale, ride him until he drops!

Both Ba and Papiss Cisse are on my team, with PC as first sub this week. Like many, I believe PC will come off the bench later in the game and get some playing time.

And those around the FPL that said that Swansea won't be keeping many more CS's might want to reconsider. No, Swansea didn't keep the CS, but they were as close as you can come to doing so against Chelsea. Swansea are nails at home and I have both Vorm and Caulker to do battle.

I also have Lindegaard and feel he is SAF's top choice. There is a saying in sports, "You don't lose your starting position because of injury." I believe Lindy is clearly better than de Gea at this point and I have a feeling SAF feels the same way. And with Vorm as my backup, I sleep well at night.

Tungsten For The Chosen One said...

Agree with you Chris about Bale and went with VDV and Ade as a differential, playing a huge catchup with a wildcard. everybody in my league has Bale rite now and u know what is the consequences on the last game...getting further & further behind...anybody has any suggestion for a replacements? Zamora is in my mind for Ade while for VDV, not sure who fits the bill to outscore Bale owners in the coming weeks

chemikills said...

I agree with not bringing Bale in, just to add another comment to the debate :P

But what I actually came to comment on was that you pushed Bardsley as the Sunderland defender to buy, is that such a great idea with Kyrgiakos arriving? Considering Bardsley has been a bit in and out anyway

O'shea, Brown are nailed when fit. I think Kyrgiakos might take that CB position as well. Richardson, Bardsley, Bridge to fight it out for LB?